What is the Most Popular Kitchen Backsplash? The Ultimate Guide for 2023

Kitchen backsplashes play a critical role in kitchen design. Not only do they protect the walls from water damage and stains, but they also add visual interest and personality to the space. With so many backsplash options to choose from – tile, stone, metal, glass, and more – it can be overwhelming to select the most popular and practical kitchen backsplash for your home.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the most popular kitchen backsplash trends for 2023. We’ll cover the pros and cons of various backsplash materials and styles. You’ll learn practical tips for choosing a backsplash that suits your budget, kitchen aesthetic, and lifestyle needs. Let’s dive in!

Why is Backsplash Important in Kitchen?

Before we look at popular backsplash options, let’s discuss why backsplash is an essential component of kitchen design. Here are some of the key reasons to install a backsplash in your kitchen:

  • Protects walls from water damage – The main purpose of a backsplash is to protect the walls above countertops from moisture, grease, food splashes, and potential water leakage. Tiles, metal, glass and other backsplash materials create a water-resistant barrier.
  • Makes cleaning easier – Backsplashes prevent buildup of dirt, grime and food debris on the walls. The surfaces are smoother and more wipeable.
  • Adds visual interest – Backsplashes provide an opportunity to add color, texture, and personality to your kitchen’s style. You can create focal points or accents.
  • Reflects your style – From sleek glass to handmade tile, backsplash choice allows you to integrate your own design sensibilities.
  • Increases resale value – Upgraded backsplashes are expected in today’s homes. They increase perceived value for resale.
  • Provides workspace illumination – Glass, mirrored and metal backsplashes multiply natural light, making countertop tasks easier.

For both aesthetic and functional reasons, most kitchen remodels benefit greatly from the inclusion of an artful, durable backsplash.

Most Popular Kitchen Backsplash Materials

When selecting a kitchen backsplash, the materials available today offer nearly endless possibilities. Here we outline the most popular backsplash options in residential kitchen design:

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Tile is the traditional backsplash material for good reason. Today’s ceramic and porcelain tiles offer:

  • Huge range of sizes, shapes, textures and finishes
  • High durability and stain resistance
  • Easy maintenance
  • Affordability and easy installation
  • Water-resistance
  • Availability of accent tiles, borders and mosaics

The most popular kitchen backsplash tile choices today include:

  • Subway tile – classic 3×6 white gloss tiles
  • Handmade art tile – unique glazed ceramic or hand-painted tiles
  • Marble look porcelain – elegant veining with porcelain practicality
  • Geometric patterns – modern graphical shapes like herringbone
  • Large format tile – 12×24 inches or larger
  • Mosaic tile – small tiles mounted in decorative patterns

Tile backsplashes provide a high-end look with artisanal appeal. The variety of styles works with any kitchen decor. Durability and affordability make tile a perennial backsplash favorite.

Natural Stone

For a classic, upscale aesthetic, natural stone brings elegance to kitchen backsplashes. Granite, marble, travertine and slate have inherent beauty. Stone choices include:

  • Marble – Elegant veining and upscale aesthetic
  • Travertine – Rustic, pitted surface with holes
  • Slate – Layered earthy texture
  • Granite – Polished speckled patterns
  • Limestone – Neutral tones with visual depth
  • Onyx – Dramatic transparent striations

Stone has unmatched visual impact, but does require more maintenance than porcelain or glass backsplash options. Sealing is necessary. The high-end luxurious look makes it a favorite choice for upscale kitchens.

Glass Tile

Glass tile backsplashes bring shiny, reflective surfaces thatbrighten contemporary kitchens. Choices include:

  • Clear glass – Mimics the look of real glass
  • Frosted or textured – Adds grip and softens the look
  • Colored glass – Available in wide range of hues
  • Recycled glass – Eco-friendly with colorful variations
  • Mirror tiles – Reflective and open up small spaces

In addition to full glass tile backsplashes, many homeowners opt for small glass mosaic accent sections near cooktops or behind sinks. The light reflecting qualities and luminous shine make glass a top backsplash choice.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel backsplashes bring an industrial, modern look. Pros include:

  • Sleek, contemporary appearance
  • Highly water-resistant and easy to clean
  • Durability – resistant to heat, moisture and stains
  • Hygienic non-porous surface
  • Mimics commercial kitchen aesthetic
  • Can coordinate with stainless appliances

Stainless backsplashes work especially well in contemporary kitchens with a minimalist look. They pair nicely with white cabinetry and black countertops. The metallic shine provides eye-catching contrast.

Metal Tiles

For a glamorous look, metal tiles make a gorgeous backsplash choice. Options include:

  • Polished brass – Glamorous yellow gold tones
  • Copper – Warm, reddish-brown finish
  • Nickel – Silvery-gray coloration
  • Tin – Unique distressed silver appearance

Beyond full sheets of metal tiles, many homeowners opt for smaller metallic accents. Metal mosaics, borders and inserts provide sheen and sparkle.

Luxury Materials

For truly eye-catching kitchen backsplashes, luxury materials provide drama. Some options include:

  • Wood – Reclaimed barn wood brings natural warmth
  • Seashells – Coastal cottages benefit from iridescent tiles
  • Gemstones – Glimmering semi-precious tiles like quartzite
  • Geode slices – Colorful circular stone cross-sections

These creative backsplashes work best as focal accent areas instead of full walls. They allow you to highlight a specific section with inspired natural beauty.

Painted Drywall

For budget-friendly backsplash options, painted drywall offers a simple solution. With primer and two coats of kitchen-grade paint, you can inexpensively mimic the look of tile. Consider:

  • High-gloss sheens for wipeability
  • Mosaic paint stencils or painters tape geometric patterns
  • Vertical stripes or horizontal bands of color
  • Faux techniques like ragging or sponging for texture

While prone to scuffs and marks, painted backsplashes provide an affordable way to introduce color. Create your own look, from retro diners to French country charm.

Now that we’ve covered the most popular backsplash materials available today, let’s discuss the specific styles and trends that rank as today’s top backsplash design choices for kitchens.

Most Popular Kitchen Backsplash Tile Styles

With the expansive range of backsplash tiles on the market, how do you narrow down your options? Here we outline the most sought-after and trending kitchen backsplash tile styles:

Subway Tile

Subway tiles remain the most classic and popular backsplash option for traditional and modern kitchens alike. Their simple rectangular stacked layout delivers clean lines. Choices abound:

  • Color – White, black, gray and soft hues
  • Finish – Glossy, matte, textured
  • Size – Standard 3×6, larger 4×8 or 4×12
  • Patterns – Stacked, herringbone or chevron

White subway tiles keep kitchens looking light and bright. Bold colors like navy blue make a more daring style statement. Running tiles vertically instead of horizontally gives the space a more contemporary feel.

Marble Tile

For natural beauty with endless intricate veining, marble backsplashes create an elegant, upscale look. Gain the luxurious aesthetic of marble without the high price tag by choosing:

  • Marble look porcelain tiles – Durability of porcelain
  • Marble mosaics – Smaller tiles reduce cost
  • Calacatta Gold marble – Upscale white background
  • Carrara marble – Subtle gray veins on white base
  • Emperador Dark marble – Darker gray/brown veining

Use marble tile selectively behind sinks or stoves instead of full walls to control price. The resulting eye-catching opulence makes it a sought-after backsplash.

Geometric Tile

For modern backsplash style, geometric patterns like chevron, hexagon and herringbone deliver graphic impact. Choices include:

  • Black and white graphic patterns – Striking contrast
  • Moroccan fish scale tiles – Overlapping circles for pattern
  • Penny round mosaics – Retro mini circles in colorful grout
  • Geometric art tile – Handpainted patterning
  • Metallic geometric – Adds industrial edge

Geometric patterns allow you to create focal points or tile “rugs”. Use sparingly on one section of wall or go bold with floors to ceiling graphic tile installations.

Large Format Tile

Large rectangular tiles exceeding 12 inches have risen in popularity for contemporary backsplash looks. Benefits include:

  • Clean, seamless appearance
  • Minimized grout lines
  • Illustrative or photographic imagery options
  • Less labor-intensive installation
  • Stone look realism with porcelain durability

Oversized backsplash tiles lend a stylish edge. Be sure your wall is flat and reinforce with cement board for a sound installation. Carry the tile into your shower or tub area for a continuous look.

Handmade Encaustic Cement Tile

If you love color and artisanal appeal, handmade encaustic cement tiles deliver. Consider:

  • Vivid colors – From bold primaries to soft pastels
  • Intricate patterns – Moroccan influences abound
    *Stovetop focal points – Direct heat resistance behind ranges
  • Outdoor kitchens – High durability in all weather
  • Unmatched artistry – No two tiles exactly alike

The dazzling colors and unmatched durability of encaustic tiles make them ideal for backsplashes. Their artisanal imperfections convey chic bohemian style.

Mixed Textures and Materials

Don’t feel limited to just one backsplash material! Mixing textures and tiles creates depth and interest. Consider:

  • Combining stone and glass mosaics
  • Mixing polished and textured tiles
  • Contrasting metal inserts with porcelain tiles
  • Blending reclaimed wood with painted drywall

Creating patterns or medallions with accent tiles prevents monotonous backsplashes. The eye naturally follows a diverse surface.

Most Popular Kitchen Backsplash Ideas by Color

Let’s look beyond just material and style to backsplash color choices. Whether you want to brighten or warm your kitchen, here are trending ideas:

White Kitchen Backsplash

White backsplashes keep kitchens looking fresh, clean and illuminated. Options range from:

  • Subway tile
  • Marble and stone
  • Moroccan fish scale tiles
  • White glass mosaic
  • Painted drywall

White backsplashes look especially striking against navy blue cabinetry or bold wall colors. Their light reflective qualities also make small spaces appear larger.

Black Kitchen Backsplash

For high-contrast drama, black backsplashes make a sophisticated style statement. Ideas include:

  • Black subway tile
  • Black granite or marble
  • Geometric black mosaic tiles
  • Onyx tile
  • Metal tiles like hematite

Pair black backsplashes with white cabinetry or stainless steel for maximum visual impact. Gold accents like lighting fixtures or hardware pop against the black background.

Wood Kitchen Backsplash

Wood backsplashes infuse warmth and natural texture. Rustic, reclaimed boards can be installed vertically or horizontally. Other options include:

  • 3D textured wood mosaic tiles
  • Porcelain planks mimicking wood grain
  • Walnut, cedar and teak real wood tiles
  • Distressed barn wood boards

Wood backsplashes work with both traditional farmhouse and modern industrial kitchens. They provide a cozy, inviting look.

Green Kitchen Backsplash

Green backsplashes bring nature indoors and coordinate beautifully with cabinet colors like Sage Green.Look at:

  • Pastel green glass subway tiles
  • Emerald green mosaic tile
  • Green granite, marble or quartzite
  • Handpainted art tile with green hues
  • Retro mint green selections

Green is inherently peaceful and relaxing. It works well in cottage or country kitchen designs. Pair green backsplashes with brass fixtures for a lovely vintage look.

Blue Kitchen Backsplash

From light and airy to dramatic navy hues, blue backsplashes create striking focal points. Consider using:

  • Robin’s egg blue subway tiles
  • Moroccan tile in various blues
  • Oceanside mosaic tiles with sea glass
  • Peacock colored artisan tile
  • Gray blue quartzite stone

Blue backsplashes look stunning against white cabinetry and golden brass hardware. Let them inspire you to dream of coastal living!

Most Popular Kitchen Backsplash Ideas by Style

Beyond color, backsplashes should align with your preferred design style. Here are top backsplash ideas for popular kitchen aesthetics:

Farmhouse Kitchen Backsplash

Farmhouse style backsplashes focus on vintage charm:

  • White subway tile
  • Tin ceiling tiles
  • Distressed wood boards
  • Black and white checkerboard tile
  • Retro penny round mosaics

Look for backsplashes that accent classic farmhouse elements like apron front sinks and butcher block countertops. Weathered charm is key.

Transitional Kitchen Backsplash

For transitional kitchens blending traditional and contemporary, think versatile backsplash options like:

  • White subway tile with gray grout
  • Marble tile mosaics
  • White geometric tile patterns
  • Painted drywall with subtle texture
  • Metallic accents and inserts

Transitional backsplashes artfully straddle old and new with broad appeal.

Contemporary Kitchen Backsplash

Contemporary kitchen backsplashes take bolder license:

  • Vividly colored glass mosaics
  • Sleek metal or polished stone tiles
  • Varying tile shapes and textures
  • Graphic large format tiles
  • Creative material mixes like wood and glass

Contemporary kitchens demand backsplashes as unique and artistic as the home design.

Mediterranean Kitchen Backsplash

Mediterranean style backsplashes draw inspiration from Italian, Spanish and Greek architecture:

  • Handpainted ceramic tile
  • Terracotta tiles
  • Colorful mosaic patterns
  • Mural tiles with figurative designs
  • Distressed encaustic cement tiles
  • Decorative borders and accents

Mediterranean backsplashes reflect old world craftsmanship for an artisanal feel.

Industrial Kitchen Backsplash

For urban lofts or modern spaces, industrial backsplashes include:

  • Exposed brick wall
  • Galvanized metal such as tin backsplashes
  • Stainless steel tiles
  • Concrete tiles
  • Dark color palettes and matte finishes

Industrial materials like concrete, metal and brick communicate an edgy, raw vibe.

The most popular kitchen backsplash aligns seamlessly with your desired style. Whether you crave Old World romance or modern edge, the backsplash makes a definitive style statement.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Backsplash

Now that we’ve provided an extensive overview of today’s most sought-after kitchen backsplash materials, styles, colors and designs, let’s look at practical factors to keep in mind as you evaluate options:

  • Budget – Measure space and create an install budget. Know price ranges per square foot.
  • Ease of installation – Large uniform tiles or mosaic sheets simplify installation.
  • DIY skill level – Assess if you can install it yourself or need to hire help.
  • Cleanability – Smooth, non-porous surfaces clean easiest.
  • Durability – Consider traffic, moisture level, heat resistance.
  • Style cohesion – Ensure it coordinates with cabinetry, counters, appliances.
  • Personal taste – Focus on styles you find beautiful and relaxing.
  • Resale value – In terms of revamping a kitchen, backsplash offers big ROI.

Taking time to carefully weigh practical factors will ensure you select the most suitable backsplash for your kitchen. You’ll gain a functional and beautiful focal point.

Creative Ways to Use Backsplashes

While standard backsplashes run horizontally along walls above countertops, don’t be afraid to think outside the box:

  • Use geometric shapes – Instead of one long strip, frame focal areas like stoves in a geometric shape.
  • Only partial walls – To save money, just run backsplash tile above sink or prep areas.
  • Creative materials – Try unexpected backsplash materials like pennies, wine corks or sea glass.
  • Run vertically – Running tile from counter to ceiling makes rooms feel taller.
  • Backsplash “rugs” – Layer a decorative tile “rug” onto your existing backsplash.
  • Diagonal designs – Modern chevron, herringbone and diamond designs make unique statements.

With creative layouts and innovative materials, you can transform backsplashes into art.

Most Popular Kitchen Backsplash Ideas (Summary)

Here’s a high level recap of the most sought-after kitchen backsplash trends for 2023:

  • Subway tile – Classic, clean, timeless
  • Marble and stone – Natural elegance
  • Glass mosaic – Shiny, reflective, luminous
  • Geometric tile – Graphic shapes deliver impact
  • Large format tile – Seamless and modern
  • Encaustic cement – Vivid color, artisanal charm
  • Mixing materials – Depth from blending metals, stone, glass
  • White – Open, airy, illuminating
  • Black – High contrast sophistication
  • Wood – Organic warmth and texture
  • Green – Peaceful, relaxing, connects to nature
  • Blue – Crisp and evocative, from light to